Preparing for a Negotiation

Preparing for a Negotiation

Effective negotiation can help you to resolve situations where what you want conflicts with what someone else wants.

The aim of win-win negotiation is to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties, and leaves both parties feeling that they’ve won, in some way, after the event.


The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people half way. – Henry Boyle


Depending on the scale of the disagreement, some preparation may be appropriate for conducting a successful negotiation.

For small disagreements, excessive preparation can be counter-productive because it takes time that is better used elsewhere. However, if you need to resolve a major disagreement, then make sure you prepare thoroughly.

Download our free worksheet and work through the following points before you start negotiating.

Negotiation Skills Template (65 downloads)



Before you start your negotiations, think about…

  1. Goals: What do you want to get out of the negotiation? What do you think the other person wants?
  2. Trades: What do you and the other person have that you can trade? What do you each have that the other wants? What are you each comfortable giving away?
  3. Alternatives: If you don’t reach agreement with the other person, what alternatives do you have? Are these good or bad? How much does it matter if you do not reach agreement? Does failure to reach an agreement cut you out of future opportunities? And what alternatives might the other person have?
  4. Relationships: What is the history of the relationship? Could or should this history impact the negotiation? Will there be any hidden issues that may influence the negotiation? How will you handle these?
  5. Expected outcomes: What outcome will people be expecting from this negotiation? What has the outcome been in the past, and what precedents have been set?
  6. The consequences: What are the consequences for you of winning or losing this negotiation? What are the consequences for the other person?
  7. Power: Who has what power in the relationship? Who controls resources? Who stands to lose the most if agreement isn’t reached? What power does the other person must deliver what you hope for?
  8. Possible solutions: Based on all the considerations, what possible compromises might there be?



Download your free Preparing for Negotiation worksheet.

Negotiation Skills Template (65 downloads)


Question: What is your experience with negotiating? Do you have any words of wisdom you would like to share? Leave your comment below or contact us at:


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